Wednesday, October 28, 2009

WIC

I'm a little surprised at the WIC program. Technically my husband and I qualify because the bills are mostly paid by his scholarships, grants, and loans. Nothing that technically counts as income. I make a little every month, and that is enough for us to purchase food and gas, and pay our little tiny bills. I tossed and turned about applying for WIC because it's not as though we are in desperate need... but my job is commission based, and could end at any moment... so maybe I should apply just in case.
Turned out not to be an issue. While I was in the hospital a WIC representative talked the whole thing over with me and signed me up. I qualified for the breast feeding exclusive part, and received my vouchers. I was a little excited. I had no intention of using the vouchers unless I needed them, but some months it was hard to get by, and having some extra food would take the pressure off.
Now, I have a lot of opinions about public assistance programs. I agree that they need to be there, I hate people who take advantage of them, and I hate people who treat others who need the programs like crap. My mom was on wic, welfare, food stamps, social security and every other type of government assistance, when my father died. She used the time to go back to school and get her nursing degree. Now she makes 90 grand a year travel nursing and has more than paid back the programs that helped her out. We feel no shame over this.
Still I have always felt there should be more giving back to help offset the costs. The wic office needs to be staffed yes? I would be more than willing to come in every month and work a few shifts to make up for the fact that they are giving me food. Same deal with unemployment, and medicare, and all of that. People on public assistance working public service jobs. Not full time, not even weekly, a shift a month per service. Who will watch the kids? We could open public daycares and staff those with qualified individuals. (Hey, some people who are down and out are certified to teach. I am, I just want work all those hours right now, I want to be home with my three week old. My cousin is, had full availability and it took her a year to find a teaching position)
Having actually looked at the WIC program, I kind of have to laugh at the people who complain about their taxes supporting these women. Wic shaved $25 off my weekly grocery bill. It's nothing to sneeze at, and I'm extremely grateful, but really? People are out there pitching full scale "I didn't choose to have a baby so why should I pay for yours" fits over what amounts to

1 loaf of bread
$10 fruits and veggies
6 gallons of milk
1 box of cereal
2 cans of beans
1 jar of peanut butter
1 box of eggs
1 pack of cheese
2 bottles of juice
and
1 can of tuna

I'm sure larger families get more but I'm a family of three. Seriously people, relax

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